JTI has pulled two more of its tobacco gantries from stores prosecuted for selling illicit cigarettes and tobacco.
It removed tobacco gantries from Keighley Newsagent near Bradford, and The Kiosk in Sheffield, on 27 August following prosecutions by local Trading Standards.
Almost 3,000 illicit cigarettes and 4.8 kilos of illicit rolling tobacco were discovered in a store room at Keighly Newsagent following a complaint received by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.
Afzal Patel, who was looking after the store on behalf of a relative, admitted to owning the illicit tobacco and was fined £470.
The Kiosk owner, Guffar Ahmed, was also fined £500 plus costs at Sheffield Magistrates Court after Trading Standards officers found illicit tobacco in his store.
JTI’s UK Head of Corporate Affairs Charlie Cunningham-Reid said: “Given the offence committed by these retailers, JTI has decided that the removal of our gantries was the most appropriate course of action.
“If this type of crime continues, customers will lose trust in their local shops as the false impression grows that all of the independent trade is rife with ‘dodgy cigarettes’.
“Our commitment to support the actions of Trading Standards and HM Revenue & Customs is steadfast and we must work together to take a stand against illegal tobacco.”
JTI also urged retailers to report any knowledgee of illicit tobacco sales to the Customs Hotline 0800 59 5000.